Islands in Space

A photo I took on a work trip to the Dominican Republic several years ago

I read Alex Garland’s thriller The Beach when I was in my twenties, even before the movie came out. At the time, I was probably in the target age group, too.

There was one short scene in this book that for some strange reason always stuck with me.

The main character looks up at the starlit sky and muses about space and infinity: if space is infinite, then that must mean that an infinite number of things could happen. In fact, anything that could possibly happen is actually happening somewhere in space and time because there can’t be any limitations in infinity, right?

He reasons that there must then be an infinite number of parallel universes somewhere in infinity; because they could exist, they must exist. Parallel planets otherwise similar to ours, where other versions of ourselves exist but where different life choices were made, resulting in our parallel lives continuing on different paths accordingly.

I find this line of thought fascinating.

I wonder which of my duplicates out there is the happiest and what choices of mine led her there?

Was it a small, everyday choice I didn’t even pay attention to?

In my life, I’ve often made the choice to travel instead of investing in daily life. I like to think that collecting experiences is more important than collecting physical possessions, but I completely understand and accept people with the opposite life philosophy. A lot of times people ask me how I can afford to travel, while they happily spend money on everything else (things that I have learned to live without).

There’s a time for everything and as I’ve grown older, I’ve lost some of my nomadic qualities in favor of the comforts of having a nice home. But I’ll probably never stop traveling altogether. There are many “right” ways to live our lives, for those of us who are fortunate enough to make choices.

(The featured photo in this post is one of the little islands in my Island Pattern post. In the comments section, one blogger referred to this bridge as the “bridge to nowhere”, which I thought sounds appropriately exotic and adds an interesting atmosphere to the picture. So thank you for that!)

32 replies on “Islands in Space”

See, I’ve recognized the parallel already then! I can tell you that the Toscana you is living very happily, yet rather lazily as well. 🙂 Also I started to follow you quite soon, there are not many posts I’ve missed. It’s lovely going through your blog from the beginning. I recommend it! 😉

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Great! I knew I was relaxing somewhere! I keep seeing flashbacks of it: me, in the sun, drinking a cappuccino… about to go for a swim in my backyard pool… I can’t believe you went through all those posts! Phew! The dog post was pretty early on and that’s the one I remember you from, though you might’ve stopped by before that, too. Thanks for looking around my blog, MM! 🙂

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Thanks! The Beach is about young backpackers and all that goes with it, e.g. partying… Though I liked it at the time, I don’t know if I would now. I must add though that the book does a great job of depicting a closed society, kind of like Lord of the Flies in a way…

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Yeah, and you probably don’t have to worry that they’ll catch the travel bug from this book since your family seems to have already traveled the world from Peru to Egypt… 😉 Me, I was itching to travel in my twenties and this book (& others) just sparked the fire!

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I have always loved to travel but had many years when we just took our holidays ‘at home’, i.e. the U.K. We could not travel far with having such a big family. The cost, for one thing would have been too great at the time. But the choice to have that family was our own and we looked forward to seeing seeing more of the worlld later on. I was fortunate enough to make such choices in life, and agree with you that many people are not so fortunate.
(We had a great holiday in the Dom. Rep. a few years ago.) 🙂

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I’m glad you’ve been able to do what you wanted with your life 🙂 And thanks for commenting, of course! I ended up working in the travel industry because I thought “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”! It was a way to travel and to do something interesting with my life – well, interesting to me, of course

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Same here, I’d rather save my money for traveling (oh well plus photography stuff :D) than to buy new cars or things like that. Nothing beats the excitement of landing on new country or new place and to travel or to explore the ocean nearby. Gosh, your post makes me missing the travel already!

And great image – love the angle you took!

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Thanks! 🙂 I’m always nostalgic about travel (blogging about it helps!) And I agree, exploring new places is the best! I also love how different places have a different energy about them: the hues, smells, sounds, the evening light before sunset… I always feel so alive when I’m traveling!


Thank you! I felt like I was on “Lost”, exploring the overgrown jungle on this island, attached to a bridge nobody uses! 🙂 I added a bit of a filter to it to enhance the mood – or a mix of filters and other adjustments, actually

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I also read “The Beach” in 2015 I think, and I loved it, even more so because I was lying on the beaches in Cyprus at the time. 😀 I do remember that part where the character looks up the sky and wonders of the possibilities in the universe. How neat that you still remember after all these years! 🙂 Beautiful photo of the island! I have a similar way of thinking, I value experiences over things. Some people balance both and I find that interesting too. 🙂

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I am not familiar with that story, but I do remember another sixties movie, on just that theme: a parallel world. I too found it a fascinating concept. An astronaut crash lands back to earth only to later discover that things are the same but different. An intriguing concept.

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It is a flawed theory behind the movie, as astronomy knowledge has now outdated it. I think it was called “Journey to the far side of the sun.” If you do find it on Netflix or suchlike, the quality of the acting is something I can’t vouch for, as I was a child when I saw it, but the concept stayed with me, even so.

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